Beyond Pink ……
November is Breast Cancer awareness month. That means that soon we’ll be seeing pink ribbons everywhere, on t-shirts, soup cans, coffee cups, Kentucky fried chicken buckets, perfume and pretty much anything that will make big bucks for the manufacturers. It is a great marketing plan, makes us feel good about supporting this cause that has afflicted so many of our friends and loved ones. In reality though, less than ¼ of the money made on these products actually goes to cancer research, the rest goes into the pockets of these companies that are making the toxic foods, body lotions, perfumes and cleaning products that are making us sick in the first place. I am concerned that the most important, lifesaving information that will really allow cancer survivors to beat cancer and survive is being left out. I guess it wouldn’t be good for business. Maybe it’s time to “rethink the pink”.
Cancer rates have dramatically increased in the past 40 years since we began the war on cancer. So what’s going on? I believe this is because all our resources have been put towards one thing- the invention of newer drugs while ignoring the root cause of the problem and the therapies that we already know are successful. The dramatic increase in cancer rates has been connected to the massive amounts of chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis; from the air we breathe, the water we drink, the plastics we drink it from, the chemicals in our food and body care products we bath in and the pharmaceuticals so many of us take. The average American woman applies over 120 chemicals to her face and body before she leaves the house each day. Many of these chemicals aren’t even tested as safe. Add this to the fast paced, stress filled lives we lead and it is no wonder many of us are faced with chronic health problems. In order to actually turn this trend around, we need to stop overlooking the lifestyle solutions that will help us detox our bodies and environment and create an internal and external environment that will support true, lasting health and longevity.
Do you Really Want to Make a Difference in Your Health and Recovery? Here are some steps to get you started….
- Get your Vitamin D level checked .The research on vitamin D is indisputable that women with vitamin D deficiency have a much higher risk of breast cancer. In a recent USC study women deficient in vitamin D were 8 X’s more susceptible to malignant cancer than women with higher levels. The active form of vitamin D, D3, has been shown to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. The optimal level is 50-70ng/ml and even higher for treatment of serious disease. The best way to elevate your level is through safe sun exposure and supplementing. The recommended dose has been substantially increased depending on your current levels and may be as high as 10,000 IU’s a day if deficient. Get yours tested today!
- Minimize sugar and refined carbohydrates. Cancer cells thrive on sugar and refined grains including pasta, bread, cakes, muffins, crackers and cereals. Much research has been done on the correlation between blood glucose and insulin levels and tumor growth. It is important to decrease the glycemic load of your meals by limiting processed foods and especially anything containing high fructose corn syrup. Eat whole foods with fiber, good fats and protein.
- Eat Your Vegetables! We need at least 8-10 servings a day or more if we are on a healing diet. Cruciferous vegetables especially have been identified as having potent anti-cancer properties. In one study, women consuming at least 2 servings a day of crucifers had a 40% drop in their risk of developing breast cancer. To get you started, try adding broccoli sprouts to your salads and sandwiches, as they contain up to 50 times the sulforaphane (a powerful detoxifier and cancer killing agent) found in the mature plant. Think kale, watercress, cabbage and cauliflower and parsley.
- Enjoy Berries. Most berries are exceptionally high in polyphenols that possess anticancer potential which have been found to counter the growth of tumor cells. Berries are high in fiber and low in sugar. Best of all, they are delicious.
- Eat Health Fats and Protein. Include quality protein in every meal to get an abundance of health fats, which are essential for building every cell membrane in your body. Try wild caught salmon, organic eggs, grass fed beef and nuts like almonds and walnuts. Use coconut oil or grass fed butter to cook and bake with and olive oil for dressings.
- Spice IT Up! There is more and more research connecting the amazing medicinal properties of natural spice compounds and cancer/disease prevention. Two powerful anti-cancer spices include turmeric and black pepper spices. Tumeric- Revered in India as the “holy powder” has been found to have an astonishing array of antioxidant, anti-cancer, antibiotic and antiviral properties.
- Drink Green Tea. Unlike black tea, green tea contains large amounts of catechins, which are compounds that boast many cancer fighting properties. Japanese tea steeped for 8-10 minutes. is the richest source of these compounds
- Get adequate sleep, ideally 7-9 hours a night in a dark room. Lack of sleep is associated with weight gain and an increased risk of disease. Sleeping in a dark room ensures adequate production of the hormone melatonin, which reduces the risk of breast cancer. Quality sleep gives your body the time it needs to repair, rest and heal.
- Avoid Toxic Body Care Products. These chemicals are absorbed straight into your blood. If you can’t eat them you probably shouldn’t be rubbing them into your skin.
- De-stress! Chronic stress takes a serious toll on your body and keeps the hormone, cortisol high. When cortisol is chronically elevated your risk for breast cancer is significantly increased. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage or maybe a yoga class. Learn to meditate. In fact, yoga and meditation improve mood and decrease stress by increasing the levels of GABA, an antidepressant neurotransmitter, in the brain.
These are just some of the things you can start implementing today to prevent cancer and serious disease. We know without a doubt that a diet rich in natural fruits, vegetables, quality fats and proteins equate with vibrant health and longevity.
Written by Mary Moskowitz, MS, CHC